Weight loss is no simple matter. Some of us are gym bunnies who often struggle to lose weight despite being regular. Others are just busy bees with little time on their hands. Either way, the struggle to remain fit is real, and needs to be addressed. Keeping this in mind, we have collected a few simple and easy ways to lose weight in no time, feel fit, and most importantly, be in a healthier and happier state of mind.
Simply translated, the word cardio refers to getting your heart racing. The idea is simple. Create a routine of exercise, lets say something like a jog or a brisk walk. Now insert brief periods of intense effort into your regular exercise. This could be something as simple as a sprint or a run, or something a bit more intense such as a bike ride or a swim. The intensity has a special effect on your work out. It resets your metabolism to a higher level, and it takes a good few hours to slow down again. This means that you have a higher calorie burn rate, even after you have showered and changed.
A simple example of a cardio could be something like the following:
- Try and set a routine for a 30 minute walk every day.
- After it becomes routine, start introducing a 30 second jog every 5 minutes.s that becomes routine, try increase the jog interval to a minute and the walk interval to 4 minutes.
- Continue to increase the pace at which you exercise.
A simple way to know that the method is working is to feel yourself breathing hard at the end of the session.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
If cardio is too easy, or just not doing enough for you, you can move on to HIIT. This is a bit like cardio, but instead of taking it easy, you focus on the intense bits of exercise rather than the easy bit. Plenty of beginner programs exist, and many gyms run many HIIT training activities. However, you do not need to join a gym or any classes to perform HIIT.
Most HIIT beginner workouts focus on about 45 seconds of intense activity followed by 15 seconds of rest. Of course, the main focus of this is the same as that of cardio. Set your own pace, follow how your body works and listen to it. From there, you can let it flow.
As your body gets more used to the current exercise regime, you can follow it up by introducing more difficult exercises, or increasing the number of exercises in your routine, making the sessions last longer.
In this case, you take your calorie burn rate to an even higher level.
A simple example of an HIIT session would be 45 seconds of activity followed by 15 seconds of rest. The following are some of the activities you may perform during a HIIT session:
- Push ups
- Side Lunges
- Butt Kicks
- Jumping Kicks
- Sit ups
Of course, other activities can be included too. You can even do exercises that target specific areas of your body, such as the core, chest or thighs.
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that has recently inspired the west. In many ways, the spirit of yoga is the exact opposite of the above two activities. Yoga is all about taking things slow, focusing on a certain pose, and finding your inner balance and flow. While all of this sounds like it is all in your head, yoga has specific advantages for your body and helps in losing weight.
For example, a lot of yoga moves require your body to be fit enough to be done properly. As you practise it over and over again, the body improves and so does your fitness. Weight loss is a natural consequence. What’s more, yoga also comes with meditation techniques that spur your mind for success. If you’re new to yoga, you could even start with taking an exotic retreat.
On top of all this, yoga also offers the following:
- Better energy levels which help increase productivity
- Reduces stress and anxiety levels
- Increases mindfulness
- Encourages creativity
- Overall better health
Various yoga classes exist all over the world. However, all you need is a book or a bunch of YouTube videos to be able to perform yoga in the comfort of your own home, office, or even in the park. Of course, because of the complexity of some moves, it is recommended that you start off with yoga with a trained instructor. Much like any intense exercise, doing it wrong can end in injury.
Running was the most boring thing I could do as a child. When there was nothing to play, I was told to run, and boy did it annoy me. However, as I have reached my 30s, running has gone from being the most boring thing to being the easiest and most normal form of exercise.
Over the recent years, running has seen an increased interest. More people are running races and marathons than ever, and more people are running for fun.
What is it about running that makes it such a popular and easy way to lose weight?
Well, first of all, it is probably the easiest activity to perform. Almost all of us know how to run (unless we have an injury and need to adjust our technique), and all you need is a pair of trainers (or joggers), some comfortable and loose clothes, and some space to run. This could be a park, this could be a pavement, or this could be a road. Live in a hot country? Run early in the morning or late in the evening. Live in a cold country? Run in the afternoon. Running can be done by anyone and everyone, anywhere and everywhere.
While running is an easy way to lose weight, it is important that it is done safely and the stamina is slowly built up. Applying cardio or HIIT techniques is a good way to build up good running fitness, though another way is to sign up for a race or an event and force yourself to train.
Apart from health benefits, running also helps the brain unwind, and provides people with valuable ‘me time’.
Saving the best for the last. Cycling is probably the best and easiest activity to increase fitness levels and lose weight. While you almost definitely need more kit than you need for running (a cycle, of course), it does have the added advantage that it gets you places. In fact, the best way to add cycling as an exercise into your daily life is to adopt it as a lifestyle.
For example, stop taking the bus and start cycling instead. Take it slow. Take it easy. Slowly build up your stamina. There is no need to cycle fast or hard. Just try and get your distance right. From there, start to build up your speed, and you will automatically start to build your leg muscles.
While cycling has similar benefits to running as far as health and mind go, it is important to remember that cycling on the road requires following some basic safety practices such as wearing a helmet and obeying the local traffic rules and law.
What is your favorite technique to lose weight? Did you find this post useful and interesting? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the section below.
Alma Causey is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover and lives the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.
Find her on Twitter:@Almacausey